The higher you climb in the corporate ladder the lonelier and more precarious your position can become. You are expected to take even more business decisions that deliver the required performance and getting it wrong is tolerated even less since you are deemed to have the experience and capability to get things right every time. When things are going wrong the team look to the leader for the answers and the direction required to get them moving forward again.
Who does the leader look to for help or advice? For many top companies and individuals the answer is increasingly in the use of an executive coach.
Previously executive coaching was viewed as a tool to help capable performers eliminate potentially toxic or damaging behaviours;
Nowadays it is viewed more as an aid to help high performers deliver to their fullest potential
In a survey in the Harvard Business Review respondents cited this as the top reason for engaging an executive coach. (48% cited “Develop potentials or facilitate transition”). Interestingly the second most popular reason to engage with an executive coach with 26% of the votes was “As a sounding board.”
So maybe not a shoulder to cry on as such but whether as a sounding board or as a means to help individuals deliver on their potential and transform business performance, executive coaching will continue to play a major part in the set-up for many successful organisations and individuals.